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Summertime in the Forest EDWARD ALAN KURTZ

Print • eBook • Audiobook Copyright © 2016 Edward Alan Kurtz Published by Stergiou Limited All rights reserved.

Copyright Summertime in the Forest 2016 © Edward Alan Kurtz Images & Illustrations: Dreamstime Photo Stock Cover image: © Tigatelu | Back cover image: © Pflpitation | Available in print, eBook and audiobook ISBN: 978-1-910370-77-3 (Stergiou Limited-Assigned) ISBN: 978-1-530762-04-0 (CreateSpace-Assigned) ePub ISBN: 978-1-910370-63-6 (Stergiou Limited-Assigned) Published by Stergiou Limited Suite A, 6 Honduras Street, London EC1Y 0TH, United Kingdom Email: Web: All rights reserved

CONTENTS Chapter One At Home in t he Pine Tree Chapter Two The Backpack Chapter Three

4 5

Chapter Six


Escape from Ridley’s Ridge 39


Chapter Seven



Raging River



Chapter Eight



The Cave


Chapter Four


Chapter Nine


The Map


Chapter Five


Making a Plan

Ready, Set, Go!


The Second Cave Chapter Ten Mount Evergreen!

57 62 63


Image: Š Patchanu Noree |


At Home in the Pine Tree


nce upon a time, there was a very special forest full of beautiful trees and other plants. Of course, there were other things in the forest. There were hills and mountains; there were valleys; there were several rivers; and there was a small lake that had been made when some beavers made a dam for their houses on one of the rivers. The forest was also the home of many animals. In addition to the beavers, there were chipmunks, squirrels, otters, minks, deer, foxes, and many different kinds of birds. There were even some snakes, but they usually stayed to themselves and did not bother the other animals. All of the animals knew each other and, for the most part, they were friends. Some of the animals were friendlier than others, but they all got along fairly well. Of all of the plants in the forest, the most special one was the pine tree in the middle of the forest. It was the biggest and the oldest tree in the forest and all of the animals loved this beautiful giant old pine tree. Some of the trees in the forest lost their leaves over the winter: but the old pine tree did not lose its leaves. It was an evergreen tree with needles. There were many other evergreen trees in the forest, but this old pine tree was the biggest 5

and everyone in the forest knew about it. It dropped some of its needles on the floor of the forest below, and this made a big soft area where the animals of the forest often went to rest or take a nap. It was also a good place to hold a meeting if there was something going on in the forest that the animals needed to talk about. This soft area was especially good on a hot summer day. Spring was over now: all of the blossoms had dropped off the trees and other plants and the forest was thick with leaves.

Image: Š Liusa |


Today it was a hot day in the forest, so there were several animals enjoying the shade and the soft needles under the old pine tree. They heard some noises high up in the tree, but the noises didn’t bother the animals: they knew who was up there! The old pine tree was a place to rest and a place to have a meeting, but it was also the home of several of the forest animals. And this was where the noise was coming from. At the top of the old pine tree were the homes of three birds and a squirrel. The three birds lived very close to the top of the tree and the squirrel lived a couple of branches below the birds. The three birds and the squirrel were best friends. They lived so close to each other, and they talked to each other just about every day and had afternoon tea together almost every day. Who were these animals? The three birds’ names were Wendy the Warbler, Wally the Woodlark, and William the Woodpecker. And Sebastian the Squirrel lived just below them. Each of these animals was unique and special, and each house was unique as well. Wendy was a very smart warbler. All the animals in the forest knew Wendy: she was kind and if anyone needed help, they could go to her for help. Whatever they needed, Wendy could help. Each of these four animals had a favourite colour. Wendy’s favourite colour was pink. Her front door was painted pink and inside of her house, just about everything you could think of was pink: her furniture, her bedspread, her walls, her rugs, her curtains. Even her teapot and teacups were decorated with pretty 7

little pink roses. While Wendy was known for being smart, her neighbour, Wally the Woodlark, was known for being very disorganized and very forgetful. He was a good friend, but he was often late for appointments or sometimes he just altogether forgot them! So when the other forest animals invited Wally to do something, they were never sure if he was going to show up or not. Wally’s house was on the other side of the tree from Wendy’s house. His favourite colour was blue so his front door was coloured blue. And when he opened his front door and you peeped in you noticed two things. The first thing you noticed was that just about everything was blue. And the second thing you noticed was that everything was in such a mess! Wally’s rugs were blue, his furniture, his walls, his quilt, his slippers, and even his backpack was blue. They each took turns having afternoon tea, so Wally had a blue teapot and matching blue teacups. And then there was William the Woodpecker. He was known for having a lot of energy and for always being busy doing this or that. He never sat still and he loved to be outside playing sports. There was one very important difference between William’s house and his friends’ houses. William was a woodpecker and he had pecked a space inside the trunk near the top of the old pine tree that was big enough to make his house. After he was finished pecking, he added a door to the small hole that was just big enough for him and his friends to go inside. He painted his front door purple because this was William’s favourite colour. And inside his house there were lots of purple things like his walls, his furni8

ture, a purple table cloth on his kitchen table, and a purple lampshade on the purple lamp next to his comfortable purple chair. “I can’t imagine where Sebastian is,” said Wendy. “He’s never late for tea.” The three birds, Wendy, Wally, and William, were sitting in Wendy’s house enjoying their afternoon tea. Even Wally was there: he had been a little late, but not as late as usual. Just then the three birds heard a very loud noise outside!

Image: © Anna Velichkovsky |



Image: Š Vadmary |


The Backpack


he three birds ran to the windows at the front of Wendy’s house. It was Sebastian the Squirrel! He was on his back on the branch outside of Wendy’s house! The three birds opened the front door of Wendy’s house. They looked at Sebastian and started to laugh. He was wearing his new backpack and it was too heavy. So just as he was about to knock at Wendy’s front door, he tipped over backwards and landed on his back. He wasn’t hurt and so the four of them laughed as the three birds helped to take his backpack off. Now he could stand up. Sebastian lived just below the three birds and their houses. While Wendy was known for being smart, and Wally was known for being disorganized, and William was known for being very active, Sebastian was known for being nosy. He loved to listen in on conversations, and he loved to spread gossip. William had helped Sebastian build his house. He had pecked a hole in the trunk of the old pine tree a couple of branches below where the birds lived. It had to be bigger than William’s house because Sebastian was bigger than William. And the hole where they put up the front door had to be big enough for Sebastian to go in and out. 11

Sebastian’s front door was painted gray: this was his favourite colour and was also the colour of his fur. Inside of his house, there were many gray things, like his halls, his rugs, his bed, his kitchen table and chairs, and lots more. But the most important thing in his house was Sebastian’s gray coloured telephone. His telephone sat on a gray table next to a comfortable gray chair, because this is where Sebastian spent most of his time: on the telephone, gossiping! And today he was wearing his new gray backpack. “Why is this so heavy?” asked Wally. “What ever have you put inside this?” asked Wendy. Sebastian was a little out of breath because of carrying the heavy backpack from his house up to Wendy’s front door. He couldn’t answer at first. “Come inside,” said Wendy. “The three of us will carry your backpack inside for you.” Sebastian nodded his head as he panted and walked into Wendy’s house. At the same time the three birds were having a hard time dragging the backpack into Wendy’s house, but they finally got it inside the door. “What is in that?” asked William. Sebastian was sitting on a chair at the table where the birds were having their afternoon tea. He was still panting. “Would you like a cup of tea?” asked Wendy. 12

Sebastian nodded, so she poured him a cup of tea and sat it down in front of him. Finally he caught his breath: “Camping equipment.” The three birds looked at each other: they were surprised and confused. “Camping equipment?” asked William. Sebastian finished a sip of tea and then answered, “Yes. Camping equipment.” “Well, this is kind of a surprise,” said Wendy. “What do you think of all this, Wally?” As usual, Wally wasn’t paying attention. He had helped the two other birds

Image: © Wongsalam77 |


bring Sebastian’s new gray backpack, but after they had all settled down inside of Wendy’s house, Wally’s mind had started to drift: he was thinking about washing his bed quilt since it was a breezy day. “Wally?” asked Wendy. “Are you with us?” “Oh, yes,” answered Wally. “That new backpack is a wonderful shade of gray: it’s just perfect for you, Sebastian.” They all groaned. “We were talking about camping equipment!” said Wendy. “Oh,” answered Wally. “Who’s going camping?” “Weren’t you listening?” asked William. “We asked Sebastian why his backpack is so heavy. He said it was because of camping equipment.” “Oh, right,” said Wally. “So who’s going camping?” Wendy and William and Sebastian all rolled their eyes, but continued with their conversation. “Last night when I was in bed, just before I fell asleep, I had this brilliant idea,” said Sebastian. They all waited for him to explain. “It’s summertime, right?” he asked them. They all nodded, even Wally who had forgotten about his quilt and was now thinking about the conversation. “And what does everybody do in the summertime?” asked Sebastian. 14

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